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It does not help either that Rafa has been unable to erased the question marks surrounding his game. But this is different. Two weeks ago in Doha, he played some of his best tennis in a long time and the fact that he got floored by Djokovic in the finals should not change that. If anyone can overcome a steep challenge, Rafa is that man.
This Australian Open represents a golden chance for the Major winner to reestablish himself as the top player, along with Djokovic, Murray, Federer, and Wawrinka. In the quarters, Nadal will no doubt face a tough opponent. There are again four qualifiers in this section. Despite injuries hampering his progress over the last three years, he has steadily improved. He arrives to Melbourne healthy and confident.
He has a legitimate chance to go far, even if it means going through Wawrinka and Nadal just to reach the semifinals. I dare anyone to predict this early how they will do in the semis where they would likely face Murray. Big-serving Sam Groth could frustrate him — it does not take much to do that — in the second round, but can he do it for three sets?
Fognini and Tomic, the two major head-cases of our sport, could play against each other in the third round, which may possibly make that encounter the highest-rated third-round match in the history of Majors. But can either one challenge Andy? The section with John Isner and David Ferrer is wide open and should provide someone with a golden opportunity to reach the quarterfinal.
But, can that quarterfinalist, whomever it may be, surprise Murray? I see some sections of the draw that fascinate me for the first few days. I see others that should be exciting when we get to the third and fourth rounds. Then, from the quarterfinals on, I expect great tennis. What I do NOT expect, is to find names in the semifinals that are different than the ones we have seen in the last several Majors.
First of all, I apologize to the readers who may have come to expect more frequent blog updates when I am present at a tournament. It has been hectic to say the least, with writing obligations outside of MT-Desk mounting up this week. Nonetheless, I woke up this morning, determined to post a write-up at the end of today, so here it is. It was hard to decide if the match was so one-sided because Cilic played spatial tennis, outclassing Nishikori, or because Nishikori simply performed far below his standard, especially after having beaten the top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the semis.
So I expected better this afternoon. Cilic was gradually finding his form and Nishikori has looked sharp throughout the week. Instead, it was another flop, not so much in the score line as in the level of play by both players. Cilic broke immediately to start the match and Nishikori wasted a whole set before starting to do the right thing. He only had a chance to break back at down, and instead of keeping the balls deep and looking to out-rally Cilic, he would get impatient and go for broke in the 5th or 6th shot of the rally, mostly from behind the baseline, and make the error.
Cilic only had to keep holding the lead with some solid first serves, and he did just that. It seemed that Kei woke up immediately as the second set began. For those who can go back and watch the match, for example, in the third point of the set , the Japanese star did something that he neglected or failed, depending on the perspective to do since the beginning of the match.
He kept the balls deep, did not go for unnecessary, low-percentage winners, and eventually earned the point on a Cilic error. From then on, he cut the unforced errors down largely because he followed that same pattern. Again at up, and a break point in his favor, Nishikori once again got the return in, settled for deep shots, kept Cilic on the move, finally collected a backhand in the net by the Croat.
Next game at , Cilic hung in there during a long rally, but having to cover too much ground, the big guy ended the rally by slapping a on-the-run forehand in the net when he was strecthed. Same scenario again occured at the game point to go up Funny how the tide can turn when you tweak and adjust small, yet basic, patterns during the points. Nishikori cruised the rest of the set and Cilic, not finding a solution which was provided for him by Nishikori in the first set , faded away quickly to lose the second set After having the early games decide the outcomes of both first and second sets, it came as no surprise that the same thing happened in the third set.
Much less confident now, Cilic double-faulted and missed an easy backhand volley in the net to fall behind in the very first game of the third set, and eventually got broken. Figuring out only at down that rallying from the baseline was no longer working with a less generous Nishikori across the net, Cilic got more aggressive and forced the issue.
At down and Nishikori serving, Cilic took risks on the returns and ventured to the net. At , he finished the point with a volley winner. At he whipped a forehand that left Nishikori at a distance, staring at the winner. He remained aggressive on the return and missed one, on the first break point at But Nishikori was feeling the heat, and missed a risky second serve for a double fault on the second break point at , in an effort to avoid Cilic taking charge on the return. Then out of nowhere, he makes couple of bad decisions one, not to attack when he had the chance and Nishikori gets the important break again to go up It seemed that neither player could get in the groove for an extended period of time and both had to battle hard just to keep balls in play and deep.
The last game characterized the whole match: 5 total errors by both players, 4 of them complete give-aways. Nishikori held and earned his spot in the finals. Or so everyone thought! On their way out to the court, both women were told that their match was moved to the Grandstand court. Makarova, the top-seeded player, not only did not play her first two matches on either the Center Court or the Grandstand played the third on Grandstand , but was probably going to go down in the history of professional tennis as the only top-seeded player in history at a WTA event to never get to play on Center Court before the finals.
As it turns out, she retired in the beginning of the third set and did not get that accolade! However, today was unacceptable. Nor should you charge one ticket price for both as TheBoiledEgg astutely pointed out on Twitter. Sounds ridiculous right?
I think everyone can guess the answers to these questions. Steve Johnson, having a golden tournament, had two match points at up in the thrilling third set tiebreaker. The first one was something to behold. Johnson served and a long rally ensued which meant, as was the case for the most part up to that point, that Johnson would end up winning the point.
Instead, Isner played good a baseline rally as you will ever see him do, and outlasted Johnson, finally forcing him into an error. Then, he served an ace to equalize at Each player had one more match point, and finally, Isner prevailed to deny Johnson his first career final.
The big guy served four aces after saving that first match point in spectacular fashion. Last but not the least, Sloane Stephens, looking for her own first final at a WTA event amazing, considering how many semifinal appearances she has had, including in some big events came out to face the in-form Samantha Stosur.
From the beginning the scenario was clear. Stephens was stroking her groundstrokes well, and Stosur needed to take risks and cut the points short to win. Sam played the right game for most of the first set, stepping inside the baseline on returns, and going for big shots, especially on her down-the-line backhands. However, Stephens would win the majority of points whenever they got engaged in extended baseline rallies.
The first set went to a tiebreaker. Stosur went up on a forehand volley error by Stephens and seemed to have the upper hand as they changed sides. Then, a total collapse by Stosur followed. Stephens remained steady as Stosur made mistake after mistake losing the next five points in succession, and the tiebreaker. The worst was yet to come. In the second set, Stephens, now exuding confidence, efficiently kept the balls deep, pinned Stosur to the baseline, and controlled the rallies.
It did not help that Stosur framed more shots than I have ever seen anyone else in a singles match. I wondered if such stats were kept, would Stosur have broken the record. She regularly mishit one or two shots, or more, each game, as the collapse of her game continued. Stephens ended up winning , and signed autographs and took selfies with anyone and everyone who came to the court side after the match.
And yes, they will all take place in the Center Court! At least, that is what the schedule says, with no caveats this time. Pavlyuchenkova served this ace on set point to take it to a final set, and it turned out to be her last shot as Makarova retired with a leg injury few moments later. It will also feature an impressive group of players such as Marin Cilic no.
Update: Bouchard has withdrawn with an abdominal injury. Only a retrospective look after June 7th can provide the answer to the question in the title. The clay-court season does nevertheless give valuable indications on what to expect at the 16e arrondissement of Paris once matches begin seven days from now.
And then there are the intangibles, always looming on the horizon, ready to influence outcomes. It will also and bring into question injuries and physical endurance. One intangible for both draws will be whether some past underdogs can manage the responsibility of being favorites in a Major.
If the head-to-head record of Maria Sharapova vs. What is quite underrated is how abundantly Sharapova wins matches on clay without playing a clay-court style tennis. The good news for Maria is that she earned her way to the number-two ranking during the clay-court season and will not face Serena before the finals under any circumstances.
It seems like the bigger challenge for Serena will consist of going through the earlier rounds without damage, and then maximizing her performance in the later rounds. Yet, there are potential challengers in the draw. Carla Suarez Navarro, freshly ranked inside the top 10 for the first time in her career, has proven capable of derailing her opponents with a wide arsenal of shots and her nerves of steel. While the spotlight in a Major will be a novelty for the Spaniard, her cool-headed approach to matches, as well as her high on-court IQ level, should be enough to negate the unfamiliar position of being the favorite against the vast majority of her opponents.
Will Carla still be demoted to the outside courts during Roland Garros after her success this year? Simona Halep, another favorite despite having garnered no clay-court titles in , will have one clearly defined goal in mind as the number three seed: make it to the semifinal and go through Sharapova or Williams, or both. After reaching the finals last year and raising the bar, Halep is one of the few players, maybe the only one other than Sharapova and Williams, who cannot leave Roland Garros satisfied unless she wins the title.
Outsiders, there are plenty. One that has not gotten any mention in the early reports is Timea Bacsinszky who has been on a tear this year. Yes, she is outside the top 20, and yes, she did get taken out by the sensational Daria Gavrilova in Rome.
Past years have shown however that any player who experiences unprecedented success in the clay-court tournaments leading up to Paris can also produce an equal type of run during the two weeks. Finally, there are some familiar names who have gotten the job done at the top level during their career, but are coming into this French Open without much momentum.
Svetlana Kuznetsova is a name that no favorite wants to encounter in the first week, especially on her best surface. Or should we distinguish the invincible Novak Djokovic from the other three? If you are one of the many followers of the tennis world who choose to do so, I cannot blame you. The number one player in the world has gone undefeated in four Masters tournaments last two on clay and the Australian Open.
He is heading into Roland Garros sporting a match win streak that ironically represents only the third longest one in his spectacular career. His serve is now a weapon, his drop shots are uncanny, and in the last few weeks, has even shown remarkable progress in the weakest area of his game, the overhead. Novak made his fans in Indian Wells happy.
Can he do the same for those in Paris? Having said that, I am not one of those followers. Nadal has lost before to Djokovic during the clay-court season, only to emerge on the last day at Philippe Chatrier court, as the winner of the only Major of the year on that surface. In fact, this sequence has taken place more than once and Last year, Novak entered Roland Garros as the top seed, with a victory against Rafa in Rome, and still came up short.
Defeating Nadal by winning three sets against him, in a period of less than a few hours, would still be in the fantasy category for anyone if were not for that one surreal day in , when Robin Soderling banged away warp-speed winners for exactly three hours and a half. I will thus modify my version to saying that I place Nadal and Djokovic above everyone else, with Federer and Andy Murray slightly below them, followed by a few names that can go no further than possibly spoil the late-round meetings between these four.
Roger has earned that seeding, deservedly, by winning three titles, the Istanbul title on clay, and reaching the finals of two Masters tournaments. The second one of those was today on the clay courts of Foro Italico in Rome, where he was dominated by the lunar play of Djokovic. Murray for his part arrives to Paris with two titles and zero defeats on red dirt he withdrew from Rome after winning his first match. That is an unprecedented accomplishment for the Scot who, despite often playing well on the surface prior to this year, could never earn a title on it.
Yet, Murray and Federer are two of the three reasons — and the only ones in my opinion — that could stop the eventual Nadal vs. Djokovic final. The third is the much-debated seeding question. Nadal will amazingly be seeded number seven in the very tournament that he won nine times in the last ten years. This means that Nadal could face any of the top four seeds as early as in the quarterfinals.
These questions will keep the minds of tennis fans, as well as experts, busy until the Main Draw is revealed on May 22nd, at which time all forms of prognostics will inundate social networks and the media. Can Rafa do this again for the 10th time in 11 years, even as the 7th seed in the draw? So, who could play the role of the spoiler to this Big Four party?
He is a name that neither Andy Murray nor Roger Federer would want to see in their quarters, although for Nadal and Djokovic, I doubt it would make much difference. There is also the loose cannon by the name of Fabio Fognini who holds two clay-court wins over Nadal this year, a feat accomplished only by Djokovic until this year. It would be fascinating to see him match up with Nadal for the third time on clay, and it could happen as early as the first week, considering their seeding.
Kei Nishikori remains the biggest threat to the Big 4 and the only one who could reach the final weekend without it being considered a stunning upset. Kei will need some help on the day of the draw. As a below-the-top-four seed, it is unlikely that he could go through three big names to lift the trophy on the last Sunday.
The two guys on whom everyone has given up any hope of winning Roland Garros are strangely ranked 5 and 8 in the world. Yes, each has reached a Major final before Berdych in Wimbledon and Ferrer in Roland Garros but one required a shocking upset Berdych defeated Federer in and the other required one of the luckier draws in recent history French for Ferrer. Milos Raonic is recovering from surgery and his participation next week is in doubt. Stan Wawrinka could give major headaches to one of the big names, but will not be more than a nuisance to the ensemble of the top favorites.
Stan did oust Rafa in Rome, but that remains the one shining moment in his season since he won a title in Rotterdam in February. He is also breaking the cardinal rule for a contender in Majors by participating in a tournament taking place the week preceding a Major, the ATP Geneva event.
One guy that did record two wins over Wawrinka in the clay-court season is Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian has however underperformed in light of to the expectations following his successful campaign. Gilles Simon could also make a big name feel sick in the stomach, but whether that would last more than a couple of sets remains improbable.
With a bit of luck, they could march into the second week of the tournament, and at the most, could reach the quarterfinal rounds. As for me, I am looking forward, for now, to my favorite portion of the Majors: the qualifying rounds. That is where emotions fly high, away from the scrutiny of cameras for the most part, and where the importance of winning a round often translates into career-high accomplishments, or in the case of a loss, into crushing blows.
Enjoy the week, the Parisian party is near. Down a match point twice, Sharapova hit two forehands winners that most other players would only dare to attempt if they were up Nadal overcame violent stomach pains, vomiting on the court, and still found an extra supply of his interminable fighting spirit somewhere deep within him to come back from two-sets-to-one down to win in a battle that lasted over four hours.
The gap between these players and the elite has narrowed, but is still far from disappearing. Even for Eugenie Bouchard and Kei Nishikori, both reaching the finals of one Major each in , the road still seems long before they can step on the same pedestal as the elite few. It is about Feliciano Lopez, the veteran who has been around the top 20 for a long time while remaining a nightmare for most top players, and why he is the most unlikely player to still be in the tournament.
Image: Getty. It is rather how poorly he has played in the two unlikely victories that he has earned so far. It was also only in the mid-portion of the fifth set that that the numbers of his winners surpassed that of his unforced errors; and even then, he still had to save three match points in the final stages of the match to survive. Nevertheless, he survived and it could not get any worse for Lopez right?
The level of his play dropped even lower against Mannarino. Despite an opponent who kept throwing in double faults at the most inopportune moments, and who did nothing more than return low and bunt the ball back in play, Lopez made mistake after mistake and constantly complained to his corner, in search of answers for the shockingly low quality of shots coming out of his racket. The Frenchman was actually up in that third set and serving, then and , and finally up in the tiebreaker before losing seven points successively to lose the third set, and melting away in the fourth due to illness he retired down in the fourth set, unable to move the last few games.
So how did Lopez do it? At down in the third, Lopez looked like he was ready to get in the locker room and playing terrible, except that Mannarino served a succession of double faults and committed a number of errors on shots that challenged him no more than the five-minute warm-up balls coming from the opponent. To be clear, it is not as if Mannarino led Lopez because he was outplaying his opponent.
He was up because he could not lower the quality of his game as much as Lopez did during that period. This match did not feature a world-class level of tennis, both players serving so poorly that there were a number of consecutive breaks in three and a half sets of play. Yet, there must be a reason why, in Majors, Lopez has a record in five-setters win against Mannarino does not count because technically, Lopez did not win in five sets and has won his last seven five-setters, dating back to Wimbledon The Spaniard never loses hope no matter the score, and he does not link the level of his play to his will to win.
Lopez will face Jerzy Janowicz next round. In order to win, Lopez will desperately need to raise the level of his play against an opponent who has more power and shot-making capability than him. But wait! That is probably not how Lopez thinks. As soon as the draws were announced at the Australian Open, it did not take long for the logical quarterfinals projections to be announced by the media members and tennis experts.
The process is simple: you take the two highest seeds in each quarter and assume that they will beat their opponents to eventually face each other in that section of the draw for a berth in the semifinals. Milos Raonic 8 , Stan Wawrinka 4 vs. Kei Nishikori 5 , Rafael Nadal 3 vs. Tomas Berdych 7 , and Roger Federer 2 vs.
Andy Murray 6. While those are dream match-ups for the second week and the tournament organizers, past experience tells us that the chances of this logical outcome coming to fruition is close to zero percent. Here are my takes on each quarter section, assuming that injuries play no part in the outcome:. The chances of Djokovic getting upset early are close to none. He is a consistent performer in the Majors and it usually takes a monumental effort Rafa at the French or Wawrinka 12 months ago in Melbourne are good examples to eliminate Djokovic in a five-set battle.
He rarely gets upset by lesser opponents. While I would be interested to see the talented Swede Elias Ymer do well, get past his first two rounds tall order as it is, and not very likely , and take the stage against the number one player in the world, Djokovic is likely to get to the round of 16s without any complication.
Nishikori's previous Slam encounters with the Australian finalist had both lasted five sets, but Tsonga was well beaten this time. The lively Nishikori pounded the off-key Tsonga with five service breaks in their third Grand Slam meeting. The French ninth seed served eight double-faults and made 36 unforced errors in a flat performance. Tsonga had a running battle with the chair umpire Fergus Murphy over the timing of a challenge and at one stage yelled out: "Hey, I'm talking to you.
Just respect me! He explained later: "I will say I was not really happy because I just want to challenge and didn't want it, because he said it's too late. Nothing to say about it. It's like this. Anyway, we have to play.
Nishikori's service was more effective than Tsonga, winning 74 percent of the first serve points and sweeping up 64 percent of the points on his second serve. He hit 31 winners, 16 off his strong forehand. It took Nishikori's record over the Frenchman to and improved his Australian Open record to It also equalled Nishikori's best result at the Australian Open after reaching the last eight in and last year.
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Nishikori came out all guns blazing, finding some stunning returns to break before he consolidated for Roger didn't know what had hit him as Nishikori continued making the Swiss's serve look timid as he broke for and soon moved into a lead. A love hold then saw Roger finally find some momentum and he was able to recoup one break before again holding to love and immediately putting pressure back onto Nishikori. The Japanese number 5 does not have a big serve, and Roger took advantage, recovering the second break to restore parity and forcing the set into a tie-break.
It looked like the Swiss's momentum would give him the first set but Nishikori regrouped, and despite trading early mini-break it was he who came out on top to take it Into set 2 and a love hold from Roger for showed he was finally getting into the groove on serve. That put more pressure on the Nishikori serve, and in game seven Roger broke through and held to love for He went on to take the set and now looked in control.
The Swiss then went up an early break for in the third and was able to reel off the next four games as Nishikori looked despondent. I thought Roger was going to run away with things here as his tennis was astounding and in set four, game four it looked for all the world he'd break after a lengthy deuce game. However, Nishikori dug in to hold and then rallied, taking advantage of some loos Federer play to break in game five and send the match into a fifth. Serving first at the start of the fifth Roger needed to send a message and he produced some high quality serving to lead Here he firmly got back control, breaking for and soon moved into a lead.
Nishikori continued to struggle on serve and required an injury timeout for a back issue, but he held on to ensure Roger had to serve things out, which he did in style, holding to love to move into the Quarters. Today over a long period of time, I had to be refocused and playing good tennis. If I gave Kei too many opportunities, he was going to take them. I served exceptionally well tonight, which was key against Nishikori. Rhythm from the baseline is there now. I explained that at length.
Maybe that also was more difficult because of that, to find the rhythm. A very impressive performance here from Roger who was able to serve well, move well and play well from the baseline for five sets which is very pleasing to see. After Nishikori had got off to a great start, Roger didn't let it rattle him and managed to respond instantly after dropping the first set tiebreak. Once he got that rhythm on serve, he was able to play more on the front foot, and although Nishikori is always going to keep you honest from the baseline, he's going to give chances on his serve and Roger took full advantage.
I think most impressive was his movement which has gotten better and better as the tournament has moved on. Today he was getting about the court supremely well, arriving at the ball on time and striking it very well off both wings, in particular, the backhand down the line which caused Nishikori a lot of problems.
Overall just a great match that had a bit of everything backhand smash, clutch serving, backhand round the net post, great volleys, etc. Six months out and he's back in a flash playing this sort of tennis. Jaw dropping stuff as Robbie Koenig might say. Next up is the resurgent Mischa Zverev who caused a huge upset defeating Andy Murray in 4 sets. Zverev has been in great form since the tail end of last season, and on this quicker surface, he produced some top drawer attacking tennis that Murray couldn't handle.
I was in Halle for that match, and it was over in 39 minutes with a scoreline. That was the injury riddled Zverev though who went onto slip outside the top , packed in tennis and tried to get a pilot's licence. Since his brother's emergence on tour re-motivated him, he's got fitter, uses a simple game plan that plays to his strengths and has had some great results off the back of it.
Going in Federer is the big favourite, but it will be a tricky match. Zverev will pressure the net and while there's unlikely to be any long rallies Roger will have to take care of his service games and come up with some good passing shots. We saw Stakhovsky trouble him at Wimbledon with a similar-ish style, so I don't think it's a cakewalk. The good news is that he has already played a lefty in Melzer, so it's some form of preparation for the out wide serve on the ad court.
Although today's match was a five-setter, it wasn't the longest or most physical encounter, so hopefully, Roger will hold up well. And that's going to be interesting for the rest of the year to find out how he backs up this big win.
I'll pick Fed in 4. How do,you write this up Im still trying to,process what happened. Another for the ages Go Fed thank you for this. What a performance. The missed smash cost him the fourth set but other than that he played amazingly.
That game where Fed failed to break and ended up getting broken in the next game reminded me of the Wimbledon semi last year. Very impressive to cut his losses and run away with it in the fifth. Who is the favorite to win the tournament? If we follow ranking order, it should be Raonic. How has he been playing lately? Tried to see as much as highlights as possible, and seems that Fed is par to all the remaining guys.
Re Raonic, he has been playing solid tennis in this tourney despite having the flu. He plays Bautista Agut nexr, so Milos will be a favourite in that match. Federer is bookies favourite now. I guess Nadal is right up there. Maybe Dimitrov best outside bet. In my opinion Fed would be the favourite against anyone but Nadal. If Nadal gets knocked out……. Honestly, I think Raonic is the only one capable to currently beat Roger. With Wawrinka in 2nd distant, and Nadal 3rd….
Yeah big time regardless of what happens next. Shows he can compete easily, long way off but grass should be interesting. The thank you is for you both, Jonathan and RF just huge. Maybe but Melzer is more of a baseliner. Fed has played lefty serve and volley players like Michael Llodra and Feliciano Lopez many a times and has perfect winning records against them.
Also played the older Zverev twice. So he should not be in a non familiar zone. The only difference I noticed in Mischa is his variation of pace and that flat forehand without any real follow through which is very difficult to pick up sometimes. Moreover, Fed himself has many old school ingredients.
So no worry. Lightning does not strike twice at the same place! What a match, exceed my expectations and my poor nerves. If he panic and started going crazy, Kei would have won in 3. Next match is tricky but good thing he has played Melzer. Now he needs keep Zverev from coming in and rushing him. A bit sad for Evans, he played well but not enough to beat Tsonga.
I hope he will get some sponsors after this tourney. Haha nice. I think Fed has work to do, needs to start hitting the odd ball left handed to catch up. Amazing match, vintage offensive style tennis from Fed, really enjoyed it despite dropping the two sets. It was early in the 2nd set I believe.
Just brilliant shotmaking and clutch serving which he will need to maintain against Zverez. As much confidence I have in Roger now, Mischa looks to be very very tricky. It could definitely turn to be another Stakhovsky Wimbledon style match which means it very well be down to a few crucial breaks of serve.
Maybe, but if Fed holds his serve, and keeps being offensive when Mischa serves, it would be tough for Mischa. We all know what happened the start of the 1st set…. Yeah might have drained him ermotionally. But who knows. Amazing match, vintage Federer is certainly back. Backhand was clicking really well tonight, forehand was misfiring a bit in the early stages but Fed pulled it really well after the first set loss.
I think Fed has a clear route to finals from here on, beating Nishikori in 5 sets has given him a ton of confidence and Zverev should not be much of a problem. I think Fed might be in top 5 before the french open.
He could be back in top 10 if reaches the final. Anyways great post Jon, Keep it up!! Do not want a Fedal final.. Hopefully he will not let Zverev continue giant killing and can at least now make SF. Allez all the way!! Stan is looking good, he often finds an extra gear when he had a tough match early. Although has he got some strapping on the knee I heard?
Saw his snap with the acupuncture stuff too…. Final is miles away though for both Fed and Rafs So not thinking about that. Just media hype to get people talking. Why not? Fed has a pretty good chance vs Nadal. His shots are more vulnerable…. Yeah one is top 5. But yeah good player. Different matches. Stylistically, Berdych. Mentally, Nishikori.
If you had to pick just one though, probably go for Nishikori, first 5 set win over a top 5 player since? Agree completely, Jonathan. What a delightful performance from the goat! When the 4th set ended, it brought back my dreadful Wimbledon SF memory against milos.
My nerves eased when Roger held the serve. On mischa match, the man has no FH or power. Yes, he could hussle Roger but that will be all. I will be very surprised to see more than 4 sets. Allez Roger! Hm I never got shades of Wimbledon, Fed was running on fumes that day and a semi dodgy knee.
Today felt different when it went 5. Not different in that he was obviously going to win or whateve,r but that it he was going to be competitive till the end whatever happpened. I like it, something different. I think comparing H2H Milos vs Roger in is unfair. Brisbane — Fed had the flu WM — He was returning from knee injury, he had a 5 set match just before vs Cilic….
Remember that if Roger was so close on both matches in , not at his best condition, I can see Roger being better vs Raonic. Hi everyone, a little bit off topic here but anyone knows when is the last time the top and second seed fail to go beyond the 4th round of the Australia Open? It was when Hewitt and Kuerten both knocked out at first round. Far more impressive than the Berdych win. I rate Kei v highly, and his volley has massively improved.
Real threat, so was trying to be realistic. To get thru a 5th unscathed and still bouncing at the end says a lot yes J, kudos to Pierre. I expect a tough battle v Mischa. Nothing is a given this AO! V open with these courts but boy has it made tennis exciting! Well done AO! Yeah the only question marks over Kei is his body. More medical timeouts for him again today, must be physchological half of it.
Great win by the greatest ever. Could have won in 4, but at the end a win is all that matters. With Murray losing his match, 18 looks not a distant dream anymore. Still 3 wins to go before we can start celebrating. At this point Fed looks to be the favorite to win it, but then Murray was the favorite this time yesterday.
Last time djoker and Murray were out before quarters in a slam was AO and Fed won it?. I feel the same. Although Sir Andy lost in such a dreadful manner, it is so much better for him to lose to the 50th ranked player. If Andy lost to Roger, he could lose not only the GS chance but also his newly built confidence, which could be much more damaging to the rest of his season. I think Fed would have been toast had he played Murray after coming off a 5 setter.
I guess Sandy Murray would have been the better quarter final for assessing Fed but unlikely to see anything but a 4 or 5 setter in that and a physical one at that. So not great. Should help RBA too against Raonic. This man named Federer is truly something to Behold. A unique creation indeed. Bellucci likes performing in front of his home crowd and if they can help him through a tricky opener against sixth seed Diego Schwartzman, against whom he holds a career head-to-head record, then he will have every chance.
They can all be deemed good wins. Monteiro is another with an awkward first-round clash. However, that three-set win was achieved in a raucous, partisan atmosphere and the boot will be very much on the other foot this week. Both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will play in this hardcourt event but at time of writing, the draw had yet to be made. Horse Racing.
Tips Centre. He's also keen on two Brazilians in their home event in Sao Paulo this week. At the price, Evans is worth a punt. Like what you've read?
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